How Much Does Maintaining or Pruning Trees and Shrubs Cost?

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated March 22, 2022
A man prunes a tree
Photo: sanjeri / E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • It costs an average of $500 to hire a service to prune trees and shrubs, with a typical range of $200 to $800.

  • The price range for pruning trees is $75 to $1,500, and for pruning shrubs it's $150 to $2,400.

  • Typically all of the cost of pruning goes to labor, although you may pay for some treatments as well.

  • The only way to save money on pruning is to do it yourself, although this is not advised for several reasons.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

In order to keep trees and shrubs healthy and beautiful on your property, you’ll need to prune and trim them. While you can tackle this yourself, it’s best to hire professionals to do this work because they have the proper tools and know-how to keep from harming the tree or shrub. Trees can increase curb appeal (and potentially your home’s value), so be sure to have your trees pruned to keep them healthy. 

It costs an average of about $500 to hire a service to trim trees and shrubs, with a typical range of between $200 and $800. If it's a small tree, you'll pay as little as $75 for the trimming or pruning, but you could pay as much as $1,500 if it's a large tree over 60 feet high. Additionally, you may pay between $25 and $100 for cleanup costs.

National Average Cost$500
Average Range$200 – $800
Minimum Cost$75
Maximum Cost$1,500

How Much Does It Cost to Prune Trees and Shrubs?

The cost of pruning trees and shrubs isn’t always the same.

Pruning Trees

Pruning a tree starts at a minimum of $75 if it's a small sapling to $1,500 or more once you get above 60 feet. The larger the tree, the more difficult the job is.

Pruning Shrubs

Pruning a shrub is typically easier than a tree—after all, you don’t have to climb a shrub to give it a good trim. But because you're usually pruning multiple shrubs, the cost can be similar.

You'll pay an average of $850 to have your shrubs pruned, but you may pay as little as $150 if you only have a few shrubs that need attention. The most shrubs, the higher the cost.

Tree and Shrub Pruning Cost Breakdown

Closeup of a hand pruning a flowering tree
Photo: encierro / Adobe Stock

Here are some of the costs that go into pruning trees and shrubs.

Equipment

If you do the job yourself, you need to have the right equipment. Here are some common supplies and their average costs:

  • Hand-held pruners and loppers: $30–$50

  • Gas pole pruner: $150–$300

  • Heavy-duty gas tree trimmer rental: $50+ per day

  • Safety equipment: $50–$150

  • Ladder: $150–$500

You should also factor in the cost of dumping fees, which can range from $25 to $100.

Labor

Pretty much the entirety of the cost of tree and shrub pruning goes to labor, as you're not actually buying any materials. As a result, you can view the total cost of the project as essentially the cost of labor.

Treatments

There are a few treatments you may want to get in addition to pruning to ensure the health of the tree or shrub in question.

  • Tree inspection ($30–$150): This involves having a professional inspect the tree and determining if it has any disease or needs any additional treatment.

  • Deep root fertilization ($50–$300): This involves having a certified arborist put fertilizer into the root system to ensure it grows in a healthy manner.

  • Tree or trunk injection ($50–$100): A professional injects a treatment to prevent disease or pests.

Cost to Prune a Tree or Shrub Yourself

As noted, pretty much the entirety of the project cost goes to labor, so if you have the equipment necessary to do the job, you can take care of the pruning for free. But chances are you don’t have everythin you need for pruning lying around in your garage or shed, so you should expect to spend some cash on equipment and a dumping fee.

Even if you do have this equipment, this is hard and potentially dangerous work. And if you don't do the job right, you could do serious damage to your trees or shrubs. As a result, you should contact a tree service near you to get a quote.

How You Can Save Money on Pruning a Tree or Shrub

The best way to save money is to do it yourself. But again, this can me dangerous and difficult.  

Other than having your trees and shrubs removed altogether, there is no real way to save money on pruning. Pruning has to be done in order to keep them healthy. You might be able to save money by comparing multiple quotes from tree servicing companies, but generally the price will be the same.

Tree and Shrub Pruning Questions and Answers

When should you cut back trees and shrubs?

The best time to do pruning is in the early spring when the trees and shrubs are flowering. This allows the service to identify old flowers and cut them back to healthy buds.

What happens if you prune a tree at the wrong time?

Pruning that is done at the wrong time, even if done correctly, could put your trees or shrubs at risk of contracting diseases that could damage or even kill them.

How much of a tree can you cut without killing it?

Generally, you should cut no more than 25% of the tree's canopy at a time. If you cut any more than that, you may weaken the tree or shrub, and you might even kill it.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.